The largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world came to a close on August 15, wrapping up two weeks of Folklorama fun across Winnipeg.
Folklorama’s 2015 Festival featured 43 pavilions that showcased world-class entertainment, authentic cultural food, informative cultural displays, and as always, warm hospitality from a wide variety of cultural communities.
“This year, Folklorama asked visitors to ‘See it All’ – and they certainly did!” says Zaleena Salaam, Folklorama President. “We received so much positive feedback – directly from visitors and through social media – about how much fun people had as they did their best to see it all. This encouraging public response means the world to our 20,000 incredible volunteers. They make the Festival happen, year after year.”
Folklorama pavilions featured hundreds of talented local performers who rehearsed for months, preparing their unique cultural performances – from fancy footwork to amazing vocals. These local artists were joined by performers from Brazil, Ireland, Jamaica, Ukraine, and the United States, contributing to some amazing cultural shows.
From a tourism perspective, this year’s Festival attracted 120 group tours, welcoming tourists from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, and St. Lucia. As well, Folklorama once again welcomed visitors from across the United States and Canada, in addition to many Manitobans. Visitors enjoyed a variety of tours with multiple pavilion visits that included cycle, walking and accessibility tours as well as late night and party packages.
“There was an unprecedented amount of interest in our VIP Tours,” says Debra Zoerb, Executive Director. “Our walking and cycling tours were packed, and several VIP Tours were sold out. We also saw in increased interest in customized tours, with staff working to create unique Folklorama VIP Tours based on specific interests.”
Festival goers also took advantage of Folklorama’s affordable admissions prices. “With a ticket price of $6 and free entry for children 12 and under, single ticket sales were very popular,” says Zoerb. “We also noticed high interest in our Vickar Automotive Group Fun Packs and Folklorama Mini Fun Packs.”
The 2015 Festival drew hundreds of thousands of visitors, with a preliminary estimate of over 426,000 pavilion visits to our 43 pavilions. Many pavilions experienced sold out shows and were extremely pleased with the volume of visitors.
Folklorama would like to thank our funders, the Province of Manitoba and Winnipeg Arts Council, as well as our valued sponsors. Next year’s Festival will be held July 31 to August 31, 2016.
Folklorama began in 1970 as a one-time celebration of Manitoba’s centennial but has since grown to be the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world. Developing out of the success of the Festival, the organization offers three year-round programs: Talent, Teachings and Travel. All of the programs bring to life Folklorama’s mission of celebrating diversity and promoting cultural understanding. To find out more, visit www.folklorama.ca. Follow Folklorama on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.